THOUSANDS HAVE BEEN NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY THE VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT HARD LOCKDOWN
Victoria Police, the Victorian Government and the Deputy Chief Health Officer have chosen to detain large groups of people, in a number of public housing estates, under the guise it is in the best interests of public health. We believe that this action contravenes the processes laid out in the Biosecurity Act 2015 and is therefore unlawful.
This is FALSE IMPRISONMENT.
Over the past few months we have worked with a number of you in relation to the actions of Victoria Police, the Victorian Government and the Deputy Chief Health Officer that have chosen to detain large groups of people, in a number of public housing estates, under the guise it is in the best interests of public health. We believe that this action contravenes the processes laid out in the Biosecurity Act 2015 and is therefore unlawful.
We have been approached by the amazing organisation called ‘The Melbourne Public Tenant Authority (‘MPTA’), a body set up to represent its members being the voices of the residents at Flemington and North Melbourne. They have been working with us during the unlawful lockdown of our community and they represent over 300 residents. We have also been working with Mr Ian Cunliffe, who is another specialised lawyer.
Over the past two months, many of you have come to us and shared with us the deep struggles you have experienced with the behaviour of Victorian Police Officers, DHHS staff and other volunteers.
We are working with MPTA to consolidate your voices under their organisation. This will make it easier to advance your claims.
We have worked closely with our legal team to escalate these concerns to numerous Government bodies to try and bring about a swift resolution. Unfortunately, the severe trauma and damage that has been caused to our community through the unlawful actions that have been taken against us must be addressed.
We, as a community, would have been happy to be consulted in a professional manner regarding any risks that needed to be addressed. However, the manner in which our Government has chosen to roll out these detention directives have breached all trust and confidence in our leaders and has created untold trauma within our community.
We know that you have experienced the following devastating impacts:
Experiencing severe trauma at being detained without notice or prior warning;
Experiencing severe trauma at being exposed to the world through media and other unwanted attention;
Experiencing severe trauma at seeing 500 police officers dispatched to enforce the detainment without criminal charges being laid against any of the residents and in the absence of enforcement orders being appropriately issued;
Experiencing severe trauma at having no information provided and the shock of the immediate detainment, particularly for families with infants, small children and the elderly;
Experiencing severe trauma for failing to appropriately deliver dietary and medical requirements in a timely manner and alleging that community contributions of foods and medicines are contaminated without proof or support;
Experiencing severe trauma at having supplies delivered in the early hours of the morning in an expired state and with dietary components that could not be consumed by the residents;
Experiencing severe trauma by Victoria Police Officers conducting themselves in an unbecoming manner and inciting tensions;
Experiencing severe trauma at witnessing that Health Workers, their supervisors, DHHS officers and Victoria Police members, not dealing with and properly handling bio-hazardous clinical waste in an appropriate and cautious manner,
Experiencing severe trauma at the absence of translators, counsellors, social workers, mental health, medical and allied health professional support systems,
Experiencing severe trauma by being told by some community leaders that some of the residents would have run away or fled from home if the Government had properly notified them of the lockdown with decency and courtesy first,
Experiencing severe trauma at having Victoria Police Officers conduct the RT-PCR tests in an unprofessional manner as they had no experience and skill sets to do so for the residents of 33 Alfred Street, North Melbourne and elsewhere in the other buildings.
Our lawyers have put our demands to the Victorian Government, Premier Daniel Andrews, the Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton, the Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Annaliese van Diemen and the Chief Commissioner of Police as follows:
That a formal apology be issued to all the residents of the 9 buildings for the unlawful detention directives issued, specifically for the manner and conduct of some of the DHHS, Council and Victoria Police staff.
That a formal independent inquiry be instituted into the unlawful detention of the residents of the 9 building towers.
That the residents of the 8 towers that had been released from detainment have their individual rents reimbursed for a period of 6 months and the residents of the Alfred street tower have their individual rents reimbursed for a period of 12 months.
That a further compensatory amount be calculated in terms of each resident’s damages suffered, in relation to economic and personal injury including humiliation and degradation, in relation to their respective unlawful detainment which has never ever occurred to this level in Australia’s history.
We are inviting you all to formally express your interest in our action and contact us by email on Melbourne Public Tenants Association at firstname.lastname@example.org and attention it to Mr Shuaib Ali so that we can take consolidated action together.
We have received a response from Government to our letter and we are not impressed. To advance the case to the next steps, we would be looking for your support and you joining MPTA as members for the purpose of moving forward.
We already have over 300 of the residents as part of this action but we are looking to capture a far wider audience as we know many more of you have been impacted.
Our lawyers are extremely diligent. They are representing us on a no-win no-fee basis and they are looking to hold the Government, Police and Chief Health Officers accountable for their conduct with a view of ensuring that this does not happen again.